Africa Remains Attractive Investment Destination Amidst Global Challenges

From 28 to 29 February 2024, Mauritius hosted the 7th Pension Funds and Alternative Investments Africa Conference (#PIAFRICA2024) at the InterContinental Beach Resort in Balaclava. The theme of the 7th edition was “Reshaping African Markets: Deciphering the Investment Conundrum for Growth.”

About 200 participants from 25 countries were in attendance, representing the public and private sectors across Africa and beyond. In particular, Central Bank Governors, Pension Funds Managers, Asset Managers and Investment Bankers interested in Africa made it a point to attend.

“Going forward, it’s important for us to create an enabling environment for growing resources through Pension Funds and ensuring the governance structures and regulatory frameworks are in place. This will allow resource mobilization, which can be directed towards challenges such as Climate Risks that we are facing as a continent.”

Zambia Central Bank Deputy Governor Rekha Mhango

At the institutional level, #PIAFRICA2024 saw the participation and support of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), BlackRock and AMETrade registered a notable presence.

Mauritius Finance, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius (EDBM), the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius were also in attendance. The Minister of Financial Services of Mauritius Sunil Bholah delivered the keynote address during the opening session.

At the moment, the world is experiencing several crises such as the perduring Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Israelo-Palestinian conflict and related Red Sea Crisis and the systemic rivalry between US and China.

Despite these challenges, Africa is forecasted to deliver a 4% overall growth in 2024. Some key markets have seen investments rise by as much as 20% year-on-year. It is estimated that the organizations at PIAFRICA cumulated some USD 50 billion in capital looking for sound and bankable deals.

“The Mauritius International Financial Centre continues to be a fund domiciliation center of choice and boasts around one thousand funds. The cumulative value of Assets Under Management (#AUM) exceeds USD 130 billion, and a sizeable amount comes from Development Finance Institutions (#DFI) and Sovereign Wealth Funds (#SWF).”

EDBM CEO Ken Poonoosamy
Discussion Panel at #PIAFRICA2024

Several panel discussions explored risks and trends when investing on the African continent. Sustainable Finance remains a key topic as several African countries grapple with the negative impact of #ClimateChange and some even face #FoodSecurity challenges.

When it comes to #ESG, Africa must take a ‘careful and balanced’ approach that befits its current condition and promotes development in a socio-economically responsible manner.

Minister Bholah revealed that Mauritius is in the process of drafting an #ESG Framework for Africa. The Framework is designed to be ‘for Africa, by Africa’, and will be in line with African realities while giving more comfort to institutional investors which are favoring projects that are in line with the UN #SDG goals.

The 8th PIAFRICA Conference is expected to be held in Mauritius from the 8th to 9th April 2025.